The first public school built in the United States was the Boston Latin School, completed in 1645, according to the Freedom Trail Foundation. The school was founded in 1635, and students attended classes in the home of the headmaster until the building was finished.
The school offered a free education to boys, regardless of their families' financial situation. Girls were educated at home and were not permitted to attend the school, the foundation notes. Some famous founding fathers attended Boston Latin, including Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin. The building was demolished in 1745, but the school has continued in other locations. A statue of Franklin marks the building's original School Street location.